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Castleford Tigers boss comments on rumoured transfer

Castleford Tigers Ben Nakubuwai

Castleford Tigers’ head coach Craig Lingard has accepted that the club have “had discussions” about possibly signing Leigh Leopards’ forward Ben Nakubuwai, accepting that the club are still desperate to make signings.

One of the key stumbling blocks in acquiring the Fijian international is that Cas are currently full on their seven quota players, something that Lingard was quick to note when speaking to BBC West Yorkshire.

He explained: “We’ve had discussions around that, but obviously, as I’ve said previously, our quota spots at the minute, they’re full. So if we brought somebody in, we’d have to get somebody out. And obviously that’s reliant on Leigh as well.

“It’s not just a case of, yeah, we want to bring somebody in or Leigh want to get somebody out. There’s a lot of moving parts in that. It’s a little bit like buying a house. You’re sometimes in that chain and it’s, are you a cash buyer? Are you third in the chain? And there’s a lot of different moving parts and it’s not quite as simple as, maybe some people think, well, we need some players, go out and bring some in.

“We are trying that and we’re desperately trying to do that. There’s a lot of moving parts to each individual deal that you try and do.”

There had been suggestions that Albert Vete would be the first domino to fall with Castleford Tigers needing to potentially get the forward off contract in order to move for Nakubuqai, which in turn could allow Leigh to sign full-back David Armstrong.

When asked, Lingard did confirm that Vete is currently one of the “moving parts”, answering: “It could be, yeah. We know Albert’s injury issues and the situation where he’s in now, where he’s injured again. taking place around that, but again, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s sound like a broken record again, that’s a fluid situation as well.”

Castleford Tigers’ transfer needs an unwelcome distraction

Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard

Credit: Imago Images

Castleford Tigers have only won once in Super League this season and with the current lack of players and upcoming game against Wigan Warriors, it could be another losing week to come.

Lingard was asked if the current situation was worsened by the “distraction” of the ongoing transfer talks, something he confirmed.

“It is, it is, but you’ve got to deal with what’s happening,” Lingard explained.

“You’ve got to deal with what’s present and happening now, you know, we don’t live in utopia, we wish we would, you know, we wish we’d have the 100% of the squad that we need and we wanted and everybody was injury free and we didn’t have any bans and we win every week and that’s Super League utopia but it doesn’t work like that.

“You’ve got to react to what happens and yeah it’s frustrating and it’s difficult but it is what it is and we can’t change that can we and it’s about us trying to make the best out of the situation that we’ve got.”

Despite the difficulties, Lingard was keen to note the positives of the club’s current strained squad, although he did feel that it was a double-edged sword.

“I guess the long-term benefit of the issues that we’ve got in respect to the number of people that we’ve got out is that we’re exposing people to Super League competitions and playing against world-class teams.

“Maybe some of these people are being exposed a lot a lot sooner and a lot more regularly than what they need to be, that’s hopefully not going to be a detriment to their development, but they’re getting game time against quality teams and quality players.”

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